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On 'the face' of it, it might appear to be just a well polished old cow horn, but this traditional Jamaican and maroon instrument, among other functions, drove the 'daylight' out of the enemies!
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Today, as a follow up to the significant events in Jamaica's history, I'll take a quick look at the Jamaican abeng, correction, the Abeng.
But just before, may I suggest that you take a quick look at the maroons? You'll gain a healthy background and so and deeper appreciation of this article.
Go now and return here.
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Pictured above, the abeng is made from an animal horn, usually from a cow, that is used as a pivotal communication tool by the maroons.
It is blown by putting the lips to a hole on the inner curve side while using the thumb placing, shifting and adjusting the thumb over the tip.
Senior, in her book, Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage, explained that the word 'abeng' come from the Twi language of the Akan people of Ghana, and means a musical instrument or horn of an animal.
By the way, here's a historical fact...
Did you know that the majority of the slaves in Jamaica originated from Ghana and the west coast of Africa.
As I indicated above, the abeng was essentially a communication tool used by the maroons conveying a complex set of codes and information without the understanding of the enemy.
It was used to.
Today, is mainly used in ceremonial activities and on symbolic national occasions. It is also used to alert the community of important events.
Read also: The important dates and events in Jamaica's history
On a recent trip to the Charlestown Maroons in Portland, I captured this video of a symbolic blowing of the abeng.
Click the PLAY button to watch.
The history and culture of the maroons is fascinating! I suggest you take a trip to one of the communities to experience it firsthand.
I also suggest that you read my article, a review really, on the Charles Town Maroons. A wonderful, insightful and educational trip. You can find the article here.
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